Is the Indian Nuclear Tiger Changing Its Stripes? Data, Interpretation, and Fact

March 21, 2014 - 9:30 am

1030 15th Street, NW, 12th Floor (West Tower)
Washington, DC
A discussion with
Dr. Gaurav Kampani
Transatlantic Fellow, International Relations and Security
Norwegian Institute of Defense Studies

Mr. Toby Dalton
Deputy Director, Nuclear Policy Program
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Moderated by
Dr. Bharath Gopalaswamy
Deputy Director, South Asia Center
Atlantic Council

India’s nuclear posture and some of its operational practices are beginning to mimic those of the nuclear P-5. Prominent arms controllers contend that India’s national security managers are poised to repeat the worst mistakes of the superpowers nuclear competition from the Cold War years, with negative consequences for deterrence, crisis, and arms race stability in South Asia and the Asia-Pacific. Gaurav Kampani of the Norwegian Institute of Defense Studies and Toby Dalton of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will discuss the existing data to determine if the case for nuclear alarmism is justified.


Dr. Gaurav Kampani is a post-doctoral transatlantic fellow in International Relations & Security with stints at the Norwegian Institute of Defence Studies in Oslo, the Center for Security Studies in Zurich, and the Rand Corporation in Washington, DC. Kampani’s research interests cover international security and focus on the relationship between domestic institutions and strategic policy, military strategy, operations planning, and weapons development. Kampani’s current research analyzes the lag in Indian nuclear decision-making from the 1980s until the present. Between 1998-2005, Kampani was a senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. During 2010-2011, he was a Stanton nuclear security fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security & Cooperation.

Mr. Toby Dalton is deputy director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. An expert on nonproliferation and nuclear energy, his research focuses on cooperative nuclear security initiatives and the management of nuclear challenges in South Asia and East Asia. From 2002 to 2010, Dalton served in a variety of high-level positions at the US Department of Energy, including acting director for the Office of Nuclear Safeguards and Security and senior policy adviser to the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security. He also established and led the department’s office at the US Embassy in Pakistan. Dalton previously served as professional staff member to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a Luce Scholar at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, a research associate at the National Bureau of Asian Research, and a project associate for the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program.

Dr. Bharath Gopalaswamy is the deputy director of the South Asia Center. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, Gopalaswamy managed the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he oversaw developing projects on space security and South Asia. He has held research appointments with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and with Cornell University's Judith Reppy Institute of Peace and Conflict studies. Gopalaswamy holds a PhD in mechanical engineering with a specialization in numerical acoustics from Trinity College, Dublin. In addition to his studies abroad, he has previously worked at the Indian Space Research Organization's High Altitude Test Facilities and the EADS Astrium GmbH division in Germany.